And I’m feeling pretty good about it. I set out about seven weeks ago having decided that I was going to post five days a week. (Truth be told, I actually was going to go for 7 days a week, but I got to my first weekend and decided it would lead to burn out so I backed off a bit.) I didn’t have an “end date” in mind or a goal for how long I would sustain it. So while the idea that “30 days set a habit” was bouncing around somewhere in my head, I mostly just wanted to see where it would take me.
And I would say that definitely it has become a habit, and a good one. Even if I don’t always look forward to sitting down and writing, it definitely doesn’t feel like a chore (if it ever did). But through the day, and even through the week, the thought of “maybe I’ll include that in a blog post” definitely crosses my mind. I don’t usually feel stressed about jotting down a thought or an idea because I know that I will be sitting down to write and post later on in the day and that the content will bubble up to the surface at the time. Making blogging a regular habit has, therefore, made me less stressed out. I’ve shown that meta cognitive part of my brain that I will, in fact, be writing down my thoughts and experienced in a semi-organized fashion on a regular basis and so I feel a little less of the desperate, clawing anxiety around the thought that I might have a REALLY GOOD THOUGHT and miss out on it because I didn’t write it down. I might not have arrive yet at the point that I trust that even a worthwhile (recordable and shareable) thought might not stick with me longer than a week, but these 35 posts have shown me that I can manage to hold those thoughts in my head for at least for a day.
I’m managed, I think, to blog one or two pursuable thoughts over the past month or so. Perhaps I edit myself a little less and am finding a bit more freedom in the process of writing down ideas. Key to this is that I’m not just writing five hundred words but I’m also hitting that “publish” button five times a week. And the world did end each time I did it. It’s not just the writing that I’ve needed to work on, I’ve needed to practice putting it out there, even on something as small as a personal blog. And the end result has been intensely gratifying. I’ve written a few times here about how for much of my life, most of my writing (and there’s been a lot) has been for assessment by one or two people (professors or teachers). And for a long time, every time I would think about writing, it would be to pitch something to an editor (or agent). A substantial part of my thought process was trying to guess at who might like what and then trying to write that best guess. It’s liberating to a shocking degree to write something, anything that is more than the product of a guess at what might please someone else.
In spite of all of the gains that I’ve made from blogging five days a week, I’m going to back off a bit here. It doesn’t seem to make sense just when this habit seems to be embedded, I know. I’m definitely not burning out. If anything, I’m just as inspired as I ever have been. Perhaps more so. That being said, I do have some other goals in mind. One is that I hope that my decreasing the frequency, I might be able to increase the quality (and perhaps length if that is what the topic calls for) of each post. And two, as I feel that this weekly habit of at least five hundred words a day five days a week is sticking, I’d like to use some of that energy to work on my fiction project. So it’s not so much that I will not be writing as much or as consistently, but that I won’t be hitting that “publish” button as often.
And I’ve gotta say, I feel pretty good about it.
(Word press just informed me that this is also my 100th post on this blog, so I’m feeling pretty good about my progress on a few different fronts. Proud of myself!)